Parents often ask me for tips on how to prepare for a successful family photo session. So, I wrote a short article on how to maximize your family shoot experience, panic-fee.
Make sure your kids are fed and well rested before your family photo session. Family photo session should be scheduled after your kids’ nap time to ensure a smooth session. Children tend to behave best in the morning after a good night sleep and a good meal. So, the ideal time to schedule your family photo session would be in the morning. However, if this is not possible, I would strongly recommend you to book your family photo shoot right after your kids’ nap. Well rested kids cooperate better and, therefore, are more likely to contribute to a happy session!
Feed your kids at home before your family photo session. Also don’t forget to bring snacks and/or sweet treats to your session. Kids love sweets and so when it comes to a photo session –bribery is ok. When preparing the snacks, go for something as less messy as possible.
Tell your kids about your family photo shoot, but don’t over prep them. Talking about the upcoming photo session for days can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress in your kids. If they’ve never had a photo session before, they may develop a negative reaction to it, as kids are often reluctant to new things in their lives. So, I would suggest mentioning it once or twice a day before your family photo session and telling them more about it on your way to it. Try to sound very positive and excited about the shoot making sure you create some good anticipation and pick their interest. Your kids may have questions about the photo session such as: What is going to happen? Where are we going? And, What are we going to do? Tell them that you are going to have a fun time together and that they would be meeting a photographer. Go ahead throw a reward for them – promise them something you know they would enjoy: an ice cream or a chocolate for example. This will surely motivate them even more to participate in a family photo shoot.
Taking children’s photographs is not easy, so I will need your help. If your kids are below 5 years old, the chances that they will be agitated by a new environment are quite high. I will need your help to attract your children’s attention. So be prepared to multitask. You would be a wardrobe fixer, nose cleaner, noise maker and probably even a dancer. I highly recommend to bring the following items to your family photo shoot: wet wipes (especially if you are bringing snacks), toys that make noise, your kid’s tutu (if there is one), a smart phone or a tablet. Kids like music, so we often play their favorite song if we are in a studio. If they are very agitated, we may even turn on their favorite cartoons. They also feel more secure when they have their tutu with them. So, bring all these items as they’ve proven to be session savers so many times already.
Last but not least, be ready to have fun. Family photo sessions are always unpredictable and therefore every time they unfold differently. So, as a family and children photographer, I am always patient with my little models and ready to run around to ensure we get beautiful family photographs that you will cherish for years to come.